Iowa Dental Reviews: Current Topics in Dentistry

Iowa Dental Reviews: Current Topics in Dentistry promotional image


This fast-paced conference will present a variety of dental topics. It is designed to be informative and stimulating. It is targeted for dentists, dental assistants, and dental hygienists, especially those needing to complete their continuing education credits for the Iowa State relicensure period ending August 2023. 6.5 hours of CDE Credit (0.65 CEU)


Fees: Dentists: $185
Dental Hygienists/Assistants: $115

Registration includes course materials, refreshments, lunch, and parking.
Register online at

8:45 a.m.                      Registration, College of Dentistry, First Floor

9:15 a.m.                      Welcome and Opening Remarks, Ms. Amanda Shoemaker

9:20-10:20 a.m.    A Clinical Guide to Select Shades for Resin Composite Restorations

Dr. Hiromi Saisho

Course Description: Esthetics in direct resin composite restorations depends on the clinician's ability to reproduce the shape and shade of natural teeth, thus appropriate shade selection is a must. This method that will be presented in this course will simplify the process of shade selection for direct resin composite restorations.

Learning Objectives:
At the completion of this program, participants should be able to:

  • Explain how to make custom shades tabs of commercially available resin composites;
  • Recognize the process of elimination of tabs during shade selection; and
  • Plan the best possible resin composite shade available for every case.

InstructorDr. Hiromi Saisho is a clinical assistant professor in the department of Family Dentistry with a background and passion pertaining to the areas of prosthodontics, esthetics, and conservative dentistry. In 2018, she received her MS in Operative Dentistry at Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná in Brazil and in 2021 completed her Prosthodontic residency at Cayetano Heredia University in Peru. As a dental technician, she has performed over 25,000 prostheses, porcelain and composite restorations, and worked in one of the top dental labs in both Japan and Brazil.

10:20-10:35 a.m.                     Break

10:35-11:35 a.m.         Basics of Orthognathic Surgery

Dr. Christopher Kepros

Course Description:  Significant occlusal discrepancies and dentofacial deformities often require combined orthodontic treatment and orthognathic surgery to achieve an optimal outcome. Patients can expect to receive greatly enhanced functional and esthetic outcomes from orthognathic procedures in conjunction with orthodontics. This course will discuss the orthognathic procedures utilized to treat common dental discrepancies and skeletal deformities.


Learning Objectives:

At the completion of this program, participants should be able to:

  • Identify the common indications for orthognathic surgical treatment;
  • Explain the functional and cosmetic benefits of orthognathic surgery for the patient with a dental-skeletal deformity; and
  • Recognize the common procedures utilized for orthognathic surgery.

Instructor: Dr. Christopher Kepros is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Prior to joining the faculty at the University of Iowa, Dr. Kepros worked in private oral surgery practice in North Iowa from 2016-2022. He received his oral surgery training at Eisenhower Army Medical Center and served for five years as an active duty oral surgeon in the United States Army Dental Corps.  

11:35 a.m.-12:35 p.m.  Sleep Apnea Screening                                              

Dr. Natalia Restrepo-Kennedy

Course Description: The oral examination is vital for every dentist and hygienist in our routine practices. Additionally, with the increasing U.S. (2/5 patients) and worldwide (1/15 patients) populations of undiagnosed sleep apnea patients and the health and survival of each patient, sleep apnea evaluation is a great calling for our profession. Therefore, as one of the first health care providers to screen the oral environment, it is critical to know and understand how to identify signs and symptoms and refer patients to a PCP.

Learning Objectives:

At the completion of this program, participants should be able to:

  • Explain how to incorporate sleep apnea screening in your daily practice;
  • Identify patients with sleep apnea during a dental examination; and
  • Recognize signs and symptoms of patients with sleep apnea.

Instructor: Dr. Natalia Restrepo-Kennedy is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Operative Dentistry. Dr. Restrepo-Kennedy received her MS and Certification in Operative Dentistry in 2012. She has been on the faculty at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and Dental Clinics for 10 years. Recently, she furthered her knowledge of Dental Sleep Medicine when she completed all three Mastery programs at the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine in 2021. In the Faculty General Practice, Dr. Restrepo-Kennedy treats patients with sleep apnea and teaches sleep apnea at a predoctoral level.

12:35-1:15 p.m.,            LUNCH

1:15-2:15 p.m.              Dementia—Updates in the Theories of Etiology, Medications and Dental Management

Dr. Jhanvi Desai

Course Description: Providing an insight into different types of dementia and patient behaviors can equip a dental provider about what to expect when providing oral care in individuals facing this neurocognitive disorder. This course gives a brief description of etiology of dementias, medications used for medical management, and techniques to deliver dental care safely.

Learning Objectives:
At the completion of this program, participants should be able to:

  • Distinguish between different types of Dementia;
  • Recognize chairside behaviors and oral conditions caused by this disorder; and
  • Discuss strategies and techniques to help deliver dental care as a team.

Instructor: Dr. Jhanvi Desai is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry (UICOD). She trains pre-doctoral students in managing comprehensive dental care for older adults and individuals with special needs at the Delta Dental of Iowa Geriatric and Special Needs Clinic. Her research activities focus on geriatric and special needs dentistry and behavioral sciences.

2:15-3:15 p.m.              Digital Dentistry: Is This the Future of Prosthodontics?

Dr. Mai El Najjar 

Course Description: The field of science and technology is ever-changing, and the scientific knowledge of prosthodontics is no exception. As a result of continual technological advancements, new methods of production and state-of-the-art may be expected. Digital dentistry is more than an embodiment of computer-based equipment and devices to perform dental procedures in place of conventional methods. This presentation will review these various aspects of prosthodontics where digitalization has modified conventional procedures.

Learning Objectives:
At the completion of this program, participants should be able to:

  • Discuss what is digital dentistry in prosthodontics;
  • Recognize the benefit of using digital dentistry over the conventional way;
  • Explain digital workflow in complete denture, removable, and fixed prosthodontics;
  • Describe digital dentistry as a broad term encompassing any dental technology that involves the use of computer-based components such as hardware devices and software solutions; and
  • Outline the purpose of digital dentistry to deliver treatment with the help of computer-aided tools. 

InstructorDr. Mai El Najjar is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Prosthodontics. She completed her DDS in Dentistry at Ajman University of Science & Technology UAE; her MESc/MSK in Dental Biomaterials and 3D Printing dental substructures, Biomedical Engineering at Western University (UWO, Canada); and her MSc in Master of Science in Craniofacial Science/Diploma in Prosthodontics (MSc/Dip. Prosthodontics) at the University of British Columbia. She also has a diploma in prosthodontics from the University of British Columbia, Canada. She is a member of the Association of Prosthodontists of Canada and the American Academy of Prosthodontics. She is involved in teaching undergraduate dental students and graduate prosthodontics residents at the University of Iowa.

3:15-3:30 p.m.              Break

3:30-4:30 p.m.              The Edentulous Mill and You

Dr. Joseph Curtis

Course Description: More than 40 years ago, George Zarb described the edentulous patient with severe ridge resorption as one of clinical dentistry’s most difficult therapeutic challenges. Today, many clinicians enthusiastically send their patients into this edentulous milieu in order to efficiently apply endosseous dental implant treatment protocols. In this presentation, Dr. Curtis will discuss the advantages of an individualized treatment program for your edentulous patient population, consider the question “Who is the ‘soon to be edentulous’ patient?” and will outline various available treatments. 

Learning Objectives:
At the completion of this program, participants should be able to:

  • Name advantages and disadvantages of treatment options for the edentulous or soon to be edentulous patients; and
  • List clinical treatment protocols for difficult edentulous patients.

Instructor: Dr Joseph Curtis is clinical assistant professor in Department of Prosthodontics. Prior to coming to Iowa, he received a GPR certificate at University of Michigan hospitals, a prosthodontics certificate from Wilford Hall Medical Center (Air Force), and an MS in biomedical sciences from UTHSC San Antonio, Texas. He has taught at the University of New England, led a practice limited to implant prosthodontics, practiced as a general dentist, worked as a community health center dentist, and worked as a military prosthodontist. He loves treating edentulous patients.

Program Faculty:
Joseph Curtis, DMD, MS, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Prosthodontics
Jhanvi Desai, BDS, MDS, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Preventive & Community Dentistry
Mai El Najjar, DDS, MESc/MSK, MSc, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Prosthodontics
Christopher Kepros, DDS, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Natalia Restrepo-Kennedy, DDS, MS, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Operative Dentistry
Hiromi Saisho, DDS, MDent, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Family Dentistry

Friday, June 9, 2023 8:45am to 4:30pm
Dental Science Building
Galagan Auditoria
801 Newton Road, Iowa City, IA 52246
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Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa–sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires a reasonable accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Amanda Shoemaker in advance at 319-335-7166 or